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Kathleen Funchion TD voices concerns for the mental health of children caught up in the housing crisis

15 April, 2016 - by Kathleen Funchion TD

Sinn Féin TD Kathleen Funchion has voiced her concerns that the continuing housing crisis is affecting people’s mental health, particularly children.

She is one of three Sinn Féin TDs who have been selected for the cross party subcommittee on housing, which was established in the Dáil on Thursday evening.

Deputy Funchion said;

“Since the last time the Dáil discussed the housing situation, I have dealt with ten different families presenting as homeless or at risk of homelessness in the constituency Carlow and Kilkenny.

“People in this situation are looking for solutions and answers.

“It is not acceptable that it has almost become normal for families to refer to a hotel or a B&B as their home. In these discussions, what often gets forgotten is the reality of many families and individuals living in overcrowded situations, relying on family members or friends to accommodate them in their sitting rooms.

“There is obviously a huge amount of worry and stress for people who have to live this way.  There is a very real concern that this crisis is having an extremely negative impact on the mental health of people, particularly children.

“Our children deserve far better. At present, there are 1,881 children recorded as being homeless.

“We need to introduce rent certainty and look at overhauling all state supports in the private rental market as an immediate measure.

‘It is absolutely crucial that the scourge of evictions and house repossessions is addressed in an effective manner. The banks must be compelled to negotiate fairly with homeowners. Often, a house is repossessed and left empty for months, while a family is made homeless.

“Over the past number of days, close to seventy homes were up for repossession in the courts in Carlow and Kilkenny.

“We need to strengthen legislation to protect the family home. I welcome the establishment of the cross party subcommittee on the housing crisis as we cannot ask people to wait any longer for real and meaningful solutions.”

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